Justin took a few minutes (or perhaps a few days) to put together some thoughts. While I like to think I'm the voice of this family, I suppose I can share the mic for a minute.
I always thought myself a humble person, and I’m pretty sure my friends and family shared that opinion. Yet I harbored a certain type of pride in my heart, a pride that was particularly hard to get rid of because I was convinced that it didn’t exist.
Pride and self-deception go hand-in-hand. I needed an incredible amount of self-deception to tell myself that verses like Gal 6:7 and Prov 16:18 didn’t apply to me. I used to love quoting Prov 16:18 at people in my life … there’s probably some self-righteousness in there too.
Self-deception allowed me to think that for whatever reason the rules were different for me. Pride helped me buy into thinking that I could get away with my rebellion. There was a healthy helping of selfish arrogance included as I chose to do what I thought was best, regardless of what God said was best or what was best for my family.
Gen 3:1. Satan’s first recorded words in the Bible are “Did God actually say … ?”. Centuries later, I’m still finding myself accepting that line of questioning, and talking myself into choices based on pride, arrogance, and self-deception.
I was the fool talked about in Psalm 14:1. I was and am a Christian, but by my actions I lived out a life that was based on believing in my way more than believing in God’s way. I would have never said “there is no God”, but I certainly lived like it.
Along with humility, I also always thought I didn’t have a problem with selfishness. I was wrong about that too. On the surface level I was fairly selfless, but the decision to break my wedding vows was a destructively selfish choice, made all the worse by the fact that there really is no “victimless” sin. My sin destroyed relationships and damaged those I love.
I’ve heard people talk about how they were slaves to sin, but I had never really empathized with them until I finally started being honest and discovered that I was just like every other sinner in the world and I too had walked myself straight into slavery.
Becoming fully honest and confessing everything to Bridge was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and as a mark of comparison I have been to jail. More about that later, maybe. Confessing everything to Bridge hurt on many levels; it hurt to see her hurt, and it hurt to know that she would never look at me the same way again. I don’t look at myself the same; I know she doesn’t. But … but, here’s what reminds me that it’s okay to not hate myself … no matter how Bridge looks at me these days, she’s looking at the truth.
Remember the Israelites in the book of Exodus? They were in slavery, and they cried out to God to save them. Once God sent Moses to save them, and they were good and saved, they promptly started grumbling and waxing nostalgic about slavery. I don’t know how Bridge and my story ends, but I know that God saved us, and no matter what desert we’re walking through, I’m not going to start wishing I was back in slavery.